The shutdown will officially begin in January 2017 and is expected to complete in the last month of the same year
Norway’s Ministry of Culture has announced to switch off FM radio signals throughout the country from 2017, according to a report by the Verge. The shutdown will make Norway the first country to pull the plugs of the FM radio.
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The historical move is a transition towards digital radio, which will ensure more radio channels, improved sound quality and a vast diversity in content.
Speaking of the need of the shutting down FM radio, Norwegian Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey explained. “Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio-content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality. Digitisation will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development.”
The Minister of Culture also confirmed that the idea was proposed four years ago in 2011 but the shut down date has been finalized this week after analyzing that Norwegian government is fully capable to meet the requirements of a smooth digital transition.
Norway has only five FM channels as opposed to 22 DAB digital radios. The existence of less number of FM channels will make the shutdown process a bit easier. The transmission of DAB digital radio is also inexpensive as compared to FM radio. According to the figures provided by the Ministry of Culture, the cost of transmitting FM radio is eight times higher than the cost of DAB transmission which means a great cut down on expenses as well.
The shutdown will officially begin on January 11, 2017 with Norland County and implementation will be made region by region. It is expected to complete on December 13, 2017 with northernmost counties Troms and Finnmark proving to be the final few destination.
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The move has been taken by Norway but the rest of the European countries are likely to follow it. However, no other country has announced the timeline yet except Norway.